North America

Canada-EU Trade Deal A ‘Disappointment’ As Deficit With Europe Soars 46%

Dear Canada, free trade deals don’t make sense if you don’t sell things to your trade partners. Daniel Tencer HuffPost The conventional wisdom is that free trade deals are, on the whole, a net benefit to an economy. But that isn’t true if you don’t actually take advantage of the opportunities created by those deals. Canada has grabbed few opportunities from its one-year-old Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with the European Union. Twelve months in, it looks like European ... Read More »

Snowden issues surveillance warning to Israelis

U.S. whistleblower Edward Snowden urged Israelis to be on guard against heavy-handed government and private surveillance in a speech by video link on Nov. 6 and defended his 2013 massive… TEL AVIV – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet Snowden highlighted Israel‘s high-tech capabilities, but warned that accepting too much government surveillance and too easily acceding to the argument that it is needed for security reasons… “If we can allow ourselves to be terrorized by someone with nothing but a knife, to reorder our societies for the convenience ... Read More »

Rebuke but not rejection gives Trump hope for a second term

New York: The US midterm elections should deliver a blaring wake-up call to both Donald Trump and to the Democratic Party. Matthew Knott Brisbane Times The question is whether either Trump or his political opponents possess the self-reflection required to turn the results into a springboard to victory at the 2020 presidential election. Firstly, the President. While Trump will try to focus on the Republicans’ strong performance in the Senate, there is no escaping the fact that voters have delivered a ... Read More »

Macron wants ‘Euro army’ to combat China, Russia and US

Paris: Emmanuel Macron, the French president, has called for a “real European army” to defend the continent against Russia, China and even the US. Henry Samuel The Age Telegraph, UK Mr Macron, who has pushed for a joint EU military force since his election last year, issued the call in northern France in the run-up to the centenary of the end of the First World War. “We will not protect the Europeans unless we decide to have a true European army,” ... Read More »

China Poses the Biggest Threat to the U.S. Elections

What the Chinese are doing is much more sophisticated than what the United States saw in 2016 from the Russians. Tyler Grant The National Interest Did you think the trade war was bad for U.S.-China relations? Well recently, President Donald Trump upped the stakes and further escalated tensions by accusing the Chinese of interfering in the U.S. elections. To back up his claims, the president pointed to a four-page advertorial the state-controlled China Daily took out in the Des Moines Register , which criticized Trump’s handling of the ... Read More »

US charges widen the net, deepen the intrigue on 1MDB scam

US DoJ indictments implicate fugitive financier Low Taek Jho and Goldman Sachs bankers but are likely only the first of many to be exposed in court in the multi-billion dollar heist. Matt Mulberry Asia Times On November 1, the United States Department of Justice (DoJ) announced it had lodged criminal charges against three suspects in the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) fraud case, considered by observers among the… The three accused include fugitive Malaysian financier Low Taek Jho, former Goldman Sachs ... Read More »

Iranian hardliners dig in as US sanctions snap back

Rouhani’s government is working to salvage the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, but Iranian hardliners are digging in for resistance By ALISON TAHMIZIAN MEUSE Asia Times Iranian President Hassan Rouhani vowed on Monday to defy United States sanctions on the country’s petroleum sector, even as the conservative Guardian Council went further – rejecting a bill meant to relieve US pressure. Rouhani said Iran would “proudly bypass” the US sanctions in a televised speech on state TV as the 180-day deadline passed. Brigadier ... Read More »

Iranians feel the pressure of new US sanctions

After the latest round of US sanctions, ordinary Iranians are likely to suffer the most. Wesley Rahn, Mitra Shodjaie DW While some optimism remains about back door support through oil exports, the long-term outlook for Iran’s economy remains dire. The full force of US sanctions on Iran was re-imposed Monday in an attempt to isolate the country’s leadership and force a change in its behavior by crippling the Iranian economy. Iran has been absorbing a series of domestic crises even before the ... Read More »

Chinese think tank launches National Committee for China-US Relations

Recent deterioration in China-US relations has prompted leading Chinese non-governmental think tank The Charhar Institute, headed by Dr Han Fangming, vice chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the… Asia Times The new committee, founded today in a small opening ceremony in Beijing, will bid to build private channels for discussion and contributions to resolution of China-US disputes with US think tanks and… Dr Bruno Wu, a leading media entrepreneur and investor, has been appointed the committee’s vice chairman. Committee members ... Read More »

Republican ‘mini-Trumps’ echo US president to woo midterm voters

In a party that belongs to Trump, Republican candidates in the midterm elections are ultimately just sideshows — even those that mimic the president. Michael Knigge reports from Virginia. Michael Knigge DW Days before the US midterm elections, an evening with a Republican Senate candidate in rural Virginia showed how nationalized and centered on US President Donald Trump. Just four years after entering the national political stage, he has made the Republican Party his own and has firmly ensconced himself ... Read More »

Muslims Surround Toronto Synagogues With Protective ‘Rings Of Peace’

“We want them to know that we will always be there for them.” Liz Haq HuffPost People from various faiths came together in a moving act of solidarity for the victims of the Tree of Life synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh on Oct. 27, as well as a show of strength and protection for Jewish people across Canada. Numerous “Rings of Peace” were formed around Toronto synagogues on Friday night and Saturday morning, made up of multi-faith worshippers standing shoulder-to-shoulder and ... Read More »

Iran’s Khamenei says the world opposes Trump’s decisions

Iran’s top leader said on Saturday U.S. President Donald Trump’s policies face opposition across the world as Washington prepared to reimpose sanctions on Iran’s vital oil-exporting and financial sectors, state television reported. DUBAI – Reuters Hurriyet Ayatollah Ali Khamenei also said Iran’s arch-adversary the United States had failed to reassert its domination over Iran since the country’s 1979 Islamic Revolution that toppled the U.S.-backed Shah. “The world opposes every decision made by Trump,” Iranian state television quoted Khamenei as saying during a meeting with thousands of students. “America’s goal has been ... Read More »

The Illogic of the U.S. Sanctions Snapback on Iran

The Trump administration believes that ratcheting up economic pressure on Iran will compel the Islamic Republic to curtail its disruptive Middle East policies. IGG History suggests otherwise. Both Washington and Tehran should step off their current escalatory path. What’s new?  A 40-year analysis of Iran’s economic performance and regional policy reveals little to no correlation between the two, as Tehran has continued to pursue policies it deems central to its national security no matter its… Why does it matter?  The ... Read More »

Once Reluctant to Speak Out, an Energized Obama Now Calls Out His Successor

MIAMI — Former President Barack Obama’s voice has a way of lifting into a high-pitched tone of astonishment when he talks about his successor, almost as if he still cannot believe that the Executive Mansion he occupied for eight… Peter Baker The New York Times For most of the last two years, he stewed about it in private, only occasionally speaking out. But as he hit the campaign trail this fall, Mr. Obama has vented his exasperation loud and often, assailing his ... Read More »

Homelessness: how other countries can avoid a US-style crisis

Homelessness is a growing problem in the UK, where the number of people sleeping rough has doubled since 2010, yet it is dwarfed by the scale of the issue in the US. Andrea Gibbons The Conversation More than 500,000 homeless were found across the US during just one night, compared to the UK’s 2017 count of 4,751. Changes in the definition of homelessness and flawed methodologies suggest that the true number for the US could be anywhere from 2.5 to 10.2 times greater. Millions more live in overcrowded ... Read More »

Understanding and Defeating China’s Maritime Insurgency in the South China Sea

China is treating ocean space in the South China Sea as if it were land territory. How should the United States? Hunter Stires The National Interest The rule of an international system that upholds the legal and philosophical principle of the “freedom of the seas” ranks among America’s most important if uncelebrated national interests. The preservation of a free and open maritime order is imperative for a country whose ability to connect with over 80 percent of the world’s population ... Read More »